Last week I opened another post by mentioning how much of the Christian community rides on an emotional wave. Then, a few days ago on my Yahoo news feed, the headline "Furor over custom NFL jersey" popped up. I knew immediately what it was about. Immediately. I clicked on the link and my hunch was confirmed.
I don't get it, people. I don't get it at all. Truth is, I don't think the Christian community really gets it where Tim Tebow is concerned. Sure, they know he's a Christian. How could you not? I mean, the dude wears his Christianity on his sleeve. But they don't know that he's part of "the movement" - homeschooled, missionary kid, probably chock full of his share of strange religious ideas, probably lots of the movement's religious baggage. Yet the Christian community wants to plant its flag with him. I mean, within weeks of being drafted by the Broncos last year, he had the top selling jersey in the NFL. Not bad for a guy considered to be a marginal (at best) pro quarterback prospect. Christians have just been completely irrational about the guy - since he decided to wear his faith on his sleeve. I mean, this...
...is waaaay over the top. If I were Tebow, I'd put a stop to it immediately if I could. It really bothers me that he hasn't, or at least hasn't spoke up about it or voiced displeasure with it.
Tebow probably isn't a terrible guy. His teammates at the University of Florida respected him as a teammate. By the same token, his teammates in Denver aren't quite as enamored with Tebow mania, and there's been some division within the locker room over the push by the fans for Tebow to become the starting QB. Many of the players feel there are better options on the team for the QB position.
As a football player, Tebow is an interesting paradox. Great high school player, incredible college player, marginal NFL prospect and terrible NFL quarterback. Last year, in his rookie season, he got a couple of starts toward the end of the season. He wasn't downright awful, but didn't exactly set the world on fire. The Broncos were out of the playoff race, and their coach, Josh McDaniels, had nothing to lose by playing Tebow. McDaniels had spent a 1st round draft pick on Tebow (VERY controversial of him to do so - like I've said, Tebow was considered a marginal NFL QB prospect with poor throwing mechanics and questionable grasp of the mental aspects of the game), was on thin ice with both the fans and the Broncos brass, and playing Tebow was a risk worth taking. If Tebow had succeeded, McDaniels might save his job. Tebow was very average, and McDaniels was fired.
Coach John Fox was hired to replace McDaniels - and Tebow was demoted to 4th string (where he probably belongs). But, with other QBs failing, and the Broncos' season going down the toilet, a couple of weeks back Fox gave in to the pressure from the fanbase (who worship Tebow's wearing of his faith on his sleeve) and gave the starting QB job to Tebow.
The Broncos won their first game with Tebow starting against the Dolphins (one of the worst teams in the NFL), but not because of Tebow. He had a poor game. The next week, the Lions utterly destroyed Tebow and the Broncos. Some of the Lions players mentioned that the Broncos had no hope as long as Tebow was their QB. It was that bad. The next week, the Broncos beat a weak Kansas City team - largely by taking the ball out of Tebow's hands. He attempted a total of 8 passes (he completed a paltry 2 of them). The average NFL QB throws 30+ a game and completes about 2/3 of them. What does that say? It says the Broncos' coaching staff has more faith in Tebow's ability to lose a game for them than to win one. Then, last night, the Broncos beat the Jets on a last minute TD run by Tebow and with another gameplan that had, by and large, taken the ball out of Tebow's hands passing-wise. Tebow played historically bad right up until the touchdown at the end. Yet my Facebook feed lit up with people singing Tebow's praises after the game last night - ONLY because they're caught up in the emotion of the Christianity he wears on his sleeve.
So, in 2 of his 4 starts this season, Tebow's been radically awful, and in the other 2 starts, he's been well below average. His own coach, John Fox, said just last week, "If we were trying to run a regular offense, he'd be screwed." That's his own coach saying that.
The bottom line with Tebow - he's just not a very good pro quarterback. If anything, he's a bit annoying with his "faith", wearing it so proudly on his sleeve, making sure everyone sees him pray, saying "blessed" somewhere around every third word in his interviews. And if homeschoolers want a posterboy for their movement, they might want to pick someone who doesn't sound like a 2nd grader giving an oral book report when being interviewed, because Tebow does. From my understanding, his SAT score was barely a qualifying one when he entered the University of Florida. He's not exactly "bright". That doesn't mean he's a bad guy - he's just probably not the guy you want to use to demonstrate the benefits of homeschooling.
Tebow isn't the only Christian in the NFL. There's lots of em. He's just the only one wearing it on his sleeve and making his religion a public spectacle. I prefer the approach of the others.
Tebow's overt Christianity gets on my nerves, but I'm also willing to consider that maybe it isn't Tebow that bothers me so much as it is the obnoxious and irrational Christian fanbase that promotes him.